Rasen to London direct train a step closer
The train travelled from Doncaster, calling at Grimsby Town, Cleethorpes, Barnetby, and Market Rasen to perform a series of platform and train validations at each station.
Market Rasen’s MP, Sir Edward Leigh has long been campaigning for the service, alongside the MP for Great Grimsby, Lia Nici, and Cleethorpes MP, Martin Vickers, who all welcomed the LNER Azuma test train at their respective stations.
Sir Edward described it as “A great day”.
He continued: “After 32 years of campaigning, we’ve finally had a validation exercise to restore Market Rasen’s direct daily rail service to London.
"Its a short platform, but we hope we can iron out the problems.
"Really grateful to LNER. Thank you to all whose efforts have made this possible.”
A specialist team travelling onboard carried out a number of checks and assessments.
Any potential new route – or extension to an existing route - carries a significant level of detailed testing to determine and validate the train’s compatibility to safely operate over the network concerned. The findings are then reviewed.
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “This is a really positive step to see whether LNER can reinstate its direct services between Cleethorpes and London King’s Cross.
"It is early stages yet and there is a lot more work to do to see whether these services can come back for the first time in decades, but today we have shown that with willpower and cross-industry collaboration, we might be able to see LNER services connect Cleethorpes to London once again.”
Rail Operations Group, Network Rail and Hitachi Rail have worked with LNER to support the validation process.
According to the latest Office of Rail and Road data, LNER continues to lead the way when it comes to welcoming people back to rail, topping the table for franchised operators for two years running.
In the 2022-23 financial year, LNER carried one million more passengers than in 2018-19.